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"Run Lola Run" or "Lola Rennt" in its native Germany language was a 1998 film written and directed by Tom Tykwer and marked an international breakthrough for him. It is also one of the coolest films I have ever seen. Lola's boyfriend Manni has got himself in a horrible pickle. A simple exchange of diamonds for 100,000 Deutschmarks goes without a hitch - the delivery of said 100,000 Deutschmarks to some very unforgiving people however does not quite go to plan. Manni, unable to wait for Lola who was supposed to pick him up after the exchange, accidentally leaves the money on a subway train to be snaffled up by a tramp. With his meeting set for 12pm Manni calls Lola for help. With Manni threatening to rob a nearby supermarket at exactly 12pm Lola has just 20 minutes to find the money and reach Manni before it is too late. But what if you don't have just one chance to get it right, but three?
This is very much a film about fate and chain reactions and how the slightest seemingly insignificant event can have far reaching consequences. This film allows us to live those frantic 20 minutes of Lola's life three times over, and how just the subtlest of differences during the opening minute utterly transforms the ensuing events to result in three entirely different outcomes as the clock strikes 12pm. This film also allows a thorough exploration of a butterfly effect style chain reaction by seeing how Lola's different actions in each universe have an effect on the lives of the people she bumps in to and also how despite different events occurring some things are simple inescapable despite coming to pass in a different way. The things I particularly love about this film is that it offers no explanations, it is simply observational in nature allowing you to interpret it in any way you want and people will undoubtedly take many different things away from this film. I for one feel almost like each new universe is a do-over, with Lola having some freaky ability that allows her to reset time until it suits her as there are very occasionally subtle signs of learning from past events especially as there are a few odd moments in the film where she is almost able to manipulate events through some high pitched screaming, but others may see it as simply three different possibilities and with any of them being the actual reality with the others as simply what ifs. Either way, it offers food for thought.
The style of this film is by far the most noticeable thing about it. Practically any conceivable film technique you can think of is almost certainly on display here with random and often grotesque animations, split screens, black and white flashbacks, red tinted memories, flash forward montages, slow motion...it is probably best described as a frenetic melee of time jumping mania through insane cinematography. I'm not entirely sure about the significance of the animation, though it is used very sparingly - perhaps it was to offer the actress that plays Lola, Franka Potente, who spends an outrageous amount of time running in this film a chance to rest and to avoid a few stunts along the way, but for whatever the reason Tykwer included them, they were quite visually striking and so well worth their inclusion. The essence of the story arc is one of a desperate race against time and really it is a non-stop thrill ride of twists and turns that you get to repeat not once, but twice, and as a result what seems at first like a completely chaotic assortment of contrasting and potentially mismatched film techniques in fact works harmoniously together towards creating one of the most fast-paced films I have ever seen and I was practically suffering from hypoxia at the end as I could barely find a good moment to breath.
It is always hard to tell exactly how good the acting is in a foreign film as emotion often gets a little lost in translation and a for those with a complete lack of understanding to what the words spoken actually mean, but my instincts tell me the acting in this film was of a pretty high standard with an almost surreal and off-beat edge to everything. Franka Potente, probably most recognisable as Marie from the Jason Bourne films, was simply enthralling and often magnetic at times in this film as Lola. She presents a striking figure with bright red hair contrasted with a blue top and green trousers and she had to do a scary amount of running which left me feeling exhausted on her behalf, but her desperation was palpable throughout, and she runs a full gamut of emotions as, despite just being privy to the briefest of insights into her life, we can see the dynamics of her relationship with her father as a source of strife which adds a whole new emotional dimension to her character. Potente is quite simply brilliant at portraying this strong yet vulnerable, independent and extremely resourceful young woman and is the glue that holds the whole film together.
The majority of the other characters, and to a certain extent that includes Manni, are simply supporting characters and yet somehow, and I can't really explain how, they all feel of massive importance in their own way, perhaps due to each playing their parts in the chain reactions that unfold throughout this film and how they factor in to this exploration into fate and destiny. Some of the flash forwards for these seemingly insignificant characters are quite amusing and also a bit disturbing at times and yet still a fascinating idea. Moritz Bleibtreu plays the bumbling and panicking Manni, and whilst being an idiot, you do still find yourself rooting for him and I think Bleibtreu captured him very well. Again, despite the limited time available for character development you can easily spot the connection and chemistry between Manni and Lola and that adds to the tension of the film regarding whether Manni's impending doom can be staved off or not. The other characters are also fascinating in their own right despite having nothing more than cameo roles which is a truly odd experience when watching a film as most supporting roles are simply forgotten at the end but these characters stay with you. But one thing they could all do with learning about is basic road traffic safety - half of what occurred in this film could have been avoided with a simple glance to the left then the right, but maybe this is an endemic issue in Germany?
One filming technique I didn't mention before was the soundtrack which is just as explosive as the rest of the film. Intriguingly, the majority of the score, apart from a couple of tracks, were composed and performed by Tom Tykwer himself with the vocals often performed by Franka Potente as well. The soundtrack style was pretty much grungy electronica often simmering in the background before erupting manically during the most action packed parts of the film, particularly whilst Lola was running. This soundtrack was excellent at ratcheting up the tension wherever necessary as well as becoming almost mournfully orchestral during the more tragic moments of the film and really helped to enhance the fluctuating moods throughout, so this is just another string to add to Tykwer's talent bow and really caps off what is a fabulously well produced and stunningly creative film. The setting is probably also worth mentioning, with the filming location being set all around Berlin and there are a few nice scenic shots which shows how beautiful Berlin is in places, but mostly what you get is a sense of the architecture and the general and ordinary atmosphere on the streets which is quite appealing.
This film probably won't appeal to everyone as it could just be a little too surreal and possibly a little too cluttered for some with an unusually high amount of filming techniques, but for me it was a thrilling, high octane ride from beginning to end full of subtle yet poignant turns of events triggered by the smallest changes in character decisions and timing with a feverish and relentless style with just the occasional periods of respite (more resembling the calm before the storm) that really captures the imagination and made this one of the coolest films I've yet to see. This film is completely open to interpretation and has many discussion points, so you can either love it or hate it, but you will almost certainly be left pondering on many questions and concepts afterwards which I feel is a real achievement for any film. For me, this is a truly original film full to the brim with entertainment and thrills and as a result is a must see for any fans of cinema and indie films.
==The DVD & Bonus Features==
Due to a few violent scenes and some choice language this film is certified as a 15, but I'm sure by today's standards they would have got away with a 12A. This DVD does show its age a bit at nearly 15 years old with the menu options, particularly as there aren't any awe inspiring extras here. The default setting for the DVD is to play the movie with English dubbing which is just highly annoying as it's always so distracting hearing silly voices that are clearly not the actor's own talking completely out of sync with what is occurring on screen, but the option is there for those that hate reading subtitles. Thankfully, you can watch the film as intended by selecting German as the language under the Languages / Audio Set-Up menu, and then selecting the Subtitles menu to be switched on to English (the only option). You can also select specific scenes to watch from the Scene Selections menu.
The final option on the menu us the Extra Features:
* Theatrical Trailer - I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do not understand the point of including a trailer for a film you now own as you're not going to watch the trailer and then suddenly decide not to watch the film, and if you've watched the film already, why would you care about the trailer? Anyway, the trailer is in fact just as weird as the film itself, by not revealing anything about the plot and simply being a random montage of unconnected scenes to leave the watcher as in the dark about the film as they were before they watched the trailer.
* Director and Cast Commentary - here you can switch the commentary on and then re-watch the film now with some voices completely invading every scene. To be fair though, if you are interested in behind the scenes insights this is a good way to get it, and you can pick up some interesting facts from listening to Tykwer and Potente commenting on everything going on, so if you've got some time to kill this bonus feature does have some merit.
* Music Video: "Believe" by Franka Potente - this video expands on one of the songs played in the film and is based upon film footage and new footage. It is actually like a proper song and everything! It again has an electronica style and is probably quite good if you like that sort of thing, which alas I don't really. Still an unusual, though given the nature of this entire film, an entirely expected addition to the DVD.
* Talent Profiles - this section simply gives a quick biography and filmography for Tom Tykwer, Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu which is great, and now tremendously out of date so if you're really that interested go to IMDB.com.
Run Lola Run is among my favourite ever foreign language films and a real cult classic starring Franka Potente as the lead character caught up in circumstances beyond her control.
The film opens with Lola awoken from sleep by a phone-call from her boyfriend, Manni. Manni is in trouble. He has mislaid a bag containing 100,000 Marks; the ill-gotten gains of his Crime Boss who understandably will not be too happy when he eventually finds out! Manni has twenty minutes to find the money before everything goes tits up and phones Lola in the desperate hope that she can possibly help him. Lola's solution is to go to her father, a local Bank Manager, and ask him for help and leaving her apartment, starts to run as fast as she possibly can. But when she arrives at the rendezvous with her boyfriend too late, the consequences are fatal! In total despair, Lola starts to scream.......and finds herself right back at the beginning of her day all over again! Can she make things right second time around?
Run Lola Run is a film in three acts ~ all offering alternative versions of the same day. Like Groundhog Day on Crack, the film sees Lola continually trying to save her boyfriend from harm whilst simultaneously taking a look at the way her actions influence the lives of those she encounters along the way. This is done through a series of Polaroids which flash up on the screen featuring each person she passes. As her actions on each paticular day change, so do those peoples possible futures...aptly illustrating just how much influence we can make with the simpliest of decisions!
Although this is something of an arty film, and at times very clever, don't let that put you off as this is also a highly competent crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns. Likewise don't let the thought of subtitles put you off because, like Spanish horror, [REC], this is a film you really cannot afford to miss!
It is difficult to fault this on any level and is right up there with my favourite films of ALL time! Indeed it is so good that even my wife, never a fan of subtitles, found plenty to enjoy in it!! I love the way it takes a familiar idea and twists it around to its own interpretation, I love the stomping techno soundtrack that suitably accompanies the action and I absolutely love Franka Potente and think this is her best role to date!
I never tire of watching this film and can watch it again and again and again and again! nd if that is not a recommendation then I don't know what is!!!
Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a young guy who works as a courier for Berlin drug dealers. He loses a bag which contains 100,000 Deutsch Marks of the gang's cash. With only 20 minutes before a scheduled delivery he calls his girlfriend Lola (Franka Polente) and explains the problem he faces. He tells her he is desperate and will have to commit a robbery to regain the cash. The film then follows Lola as she runs to stop him.
Franka Potente ... Lola
Moritz Bleibtreu ... Manni
Herbert Knaup ... Vater
Nina Petri ... Jutta Hansen
Armin Rohde ... Herr Schuster
Joachim Król ... Norbert von Au
Ludger Pistor ... Herr Meier
Suzanne von Borsody ... Frau Jäger
Sebastian Schipper ... Mike
Julia Lindig ... Doris
Lars Rudolph ... Herr Kruse
Andreas Petri ... Sanitäter
Klaus Müller ... Croupier
Utz Krause ... Casino-Manager
Beate Finckh ... Casino-Kassiererin
This film was created in 1998 and it was a huge worldwide hit, being one of the few German films to do well in British speaking territories in recent years. The film isn't that original, its concept is that Lola tries to save her boyfriend but there are three different scenarios presenting three different endings depending on random events that occur on route. The concept is taken from the English film Sliding Doors which in turn took this concept from the 1970's Polish film, Blind Chance by Krystof Kieslowski.
What makes this film so much fun is the pumping techno soundtrack and the pure energy of the film. It is all about Lola and Polente is a fine lead, providing a strong lead. The script is fairly good but overall this is a film for the MTV generation being all about appearance over content.
The film is fairly short and this is good as the concept isn't good enough to last over three different endings, it is a stylish film which looks and sounds excellent but lacks a bit of heart. I would give this a 3 out of 5 as it is memorable only for the appearance and not the content.
The dvd is available on Amazon for under £4.23, it is available on ebay for much less.
Life is all about timing. The unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable, attainable.
As a German film subtitled in English, the film runs remarkably smoothly to an English eye. The film is set in Berlin, and centred around a woman, Lola (Franka Potente), whose boyfriend (Moritz Bleibtreu) needs to lay his hands on 100,000 deutschemarks and 20 minutes, or face the serious consequences that come when shortfalls and gang lords are mixed. And the plot remains as simple as that. No back stories, no further details into the characters and this works to the film's advantage. The set-up requires five minutes at most and it's already off to a cracking start. The everyday nature of our leading protagonist Lola makes us sympathise and relate with her, further engaging us into this rollercoaster ride.
A parallel dimension in the narrative is created when the main character is shot and subsequently says 'stop' at which point the story starts again, resulting in different consequences each time this happens. This method of development allows for the main character to use her knowledge of the situation in both hindsight and foresight, creating subtle supernatural undertones. The film owes a patent debt to Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski for the concept of multiple lives, as he had explored the theme in films such as "Blind Chance" and "Three Colours: Red" beforehand.
The film has many deeper connotations and underlying themes. It begins by posing questions as to the incomprehensible nature of the world and its unpredictability. It suggests that one second's change can drastically alter a person's circumstances. For example, in the first scenario, a woman can be seen kidnapping a baby after her child is taken away by social workers whereas, in the second run, the woman wins the lottery and, in the third scenario, she experiences a religious conversion before which the only change from the first run is that Lola does not bump into the woman in the street.
The themes of free will and determinism are also incorporated. Lola's interactions with others lead to unpredictable consequences, such as a man on a bicycle ending up happy, then married, and finally as a beggar in the three respective scenarios. The similar is also demonstrated through the fact that Lola has three different realities to choose from.
A series of rapid editing played out in snapshot form, showing us the fates of various different characters during the course of Lola's run gives us a fast-paced, breathless but ultimately comprehensible explanation into everyone's future. The brief but detailed glimpses of the future are endlessly inventive and imaginative with absolutely nothing unconvincing about any of them. The changes that a single person can make are simply extraordinary, with each conclusion being vastly different from others. This slick method adds even more pace and adrenaline and keeps up the excellent pace throughout the film.
Keeping the budget to the minimum, never expanding the action beyond the idea of running, the director makes sure the film stays as realistic as possible. Our heroine is no superhero and just like humans, she has flaws, makes mistakes, she can be hurt and injured. An excellent way of keeping the audience guessing and captivated, the film refuses to slow down or alter the heart-pounding nature of Lola.
Franka Potente, looking wild, confident, desperate and strong-willed with her striking red hair, and tomboyish looks, has plenty of appeal and she has the appropriate physical attributes to be running around all over the place, thinking and carrying out the extremes to save her boyfriend from certain death. The film however does have its slight pauses (though not long at all) where some emotional heart-to-heart conversations occur between characters. Potente has absolutely no trouble handling such scenes and so we get a nice balance of opposite characteristics in our leading protagonist.
The result is unpretentious, compelling and clever, and within the short but thrill-packed 80-minute running time, provides much more energy and excitement than can ever be expected. This potent mix of unstoppable action and exhilarating speed, despite its low budget, will most definitely please fans of both the action/thriller genre as well as the foreign language genre.
Run Lola Run is a cult 1998 German film written and directed by Tom Tykwer. The premise is simple. Lola (Franka Potente) has only twenty minutes to come up with 100,000 marks and then get it to her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), a delivery boy for a dodgy gangster/smuggler. Manni absently left the money on a subway train for a moment - where it was stolen by an opportunistic observer - and now his life might well depend on whether Lola can somehow come up with 100,000 marks AND get it too him in only twenty minutes. To make matters even worse, her scooter has been stolen and the clock is already ticking away. Lola must hit the streets of Berlin and run as if her life depended on it and the first destination is the bank where her father works in a senior position. In the vein of other reality-skewed films like Sliding Doors, Tykwer presents us with three alternate versions of Lola's desperate attempt to get the money to Manni on time, each with a very different outcome...
A hyperactive adrenaline rush indie German Groundhog Day with a thumping techno soundtrack, Run Lola Run is a tight, inventive and generally very likeable film that pulses and simmers with energy and nice visual ideas. Central to the appeal of Run Lola Run is Franka Potente pounding the streets of Berlin in jeans and a tank top with a vivid shock of punkish red hair - the actress a lot more unconventional (and athletic) than your standard Hollywood bimbo and far more interesting as a consequence. Run Lola Run has a kinetic stream-of-consciousness energy, quite an addictive quality, and even manages to slide in a few ruminations on fate, randomness, existence and how the smallest of incidents can somehow alter the whole course of somebody's life. It begins with a quote by TS Eliot ("We shall not cease from exploration...and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started...and know the place for the first time") and then some football themed philosophy which ends with the (mildly Stuart Hallesque) observation that, "The ball is round. The game lasts minutes. That's a fact. Everything else is pure theory!"
Each of Lola's three different runs begins after the alarming telephone call from a distraught Manni confessing that he has messed up and is now in very big trouble. The film even morphs briefly into cartoon form as Lola descends the stars to begin - like a computer game restarting. We see how each of the runs varies in small, intricate little details and how this affects the strangers she bumps into or nudges along the way on the street - sort of like a butterfly effect - with a future flash of their lives appearing in still images, each one of course different in the three alternative runs. Aside from the three different scenarios we also get some flashbacks in black and white of Lola and Manni together, a device used to flesh the characters out a little and make us like them more. The energy and directness of the film plus the use of stills, black and white, animation and slow motion generally means everything is thrown at the screen for the sake of an entertaining show but despite its brief running time - and the on the face of it gimmicky construction - Run Lola Run never really feels like a shallow film. Although it only clocks in at eighty or so minutes, this is far more rewarding and entertaining than most of the (far more expensive) fare that Hollywood can muster.
Run Lola Run seems to owe something to the famous opening sequence of Danny Boyle's Trainspotting where Renton and co are being chased down an Edinburgh street to the strains of Iggy Pop. It's as if someone thought, why not make a whole film in that whiplash style? There is something very refreshing about the simplicity of someone running helter-skelter through the streets with Potente's red hair/look surely inspired by Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element! Although there are a fusion of influences with the previously mentioned Groundhog Day and Trainspotting - we also get some Tarantinoesque moments in banks and supermarkets - Run Lola Run still feels very much like its own film rather than something that is too jarringly derivative of other works. A big part of the fun of the picture is of course the minute variations that occur with each of Lola's attempts to get the money to Manni. Lola's actions when faced with a car or pedestrian could have profound circumstances that will affect everything.
The fact that these three separate stories are completely unrelated, as if they all occurred in parallel universes, means that we can almost pick which one we like the best, Lola of course having no knowledge the previous one to use when she sets off again. We threaten to veer in melodrama a few times - when Lola discovers her father has a mistress at the bank - but the film is admirably lean and keeps moving forward with purpose and energy. Berlin is used to good effect in the film too and makes for an interesting location and there are plenty of little moments that linger in the memory like Lola mentally flashing through a list of people who she could approach for the money and quickly settling on her banker father as the only - although by no means easy - option and her piercing scream at a casino. Run Lola Run is always suitably gripping and entertaining and structured around a simple premise that presumably was fairly inexpensive to bring to the screen. It's a good example of what Hollywood and the British film industry should be doing more of - clever little films with plenty of verve and spirit. Run Lola Run is a lot of fun on the whole and recommended to anyone who has never got around to watching it yet.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Run Lola Run is an insanely inventive German film that brought director Tom Tykwer to prominence (and allowed him to director later films Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and also The International, although this is still his best film!), as well as bring Franke Potente to International fame, helping her get later roles in films such as The Bourne Identity.
This film is such a breath of fresh air whether you're accustomed to world cinema or not - it features a woman named Lola (Potente) who learns that her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) has let 100,000 DM go missing when he was looking after it for a gangster. Lola has 20 minutes to get 100,000 DM, or Manni will die. From here, the film presents three different paths as Lola attempts to save Manni, rewinding each time she fails and then showing a different attempt. It's an insanely kinetic film that avoids being repetitive due to the subtle little changes of each situation as Lola makes a different choice, as though some sort of central consciousness is allowing her to escape the mistakes she made previously. She also encounters the same characters each time, but the film shows how different events change their lives hugely.
This is just insanely energetic - it has a pulsing soundtrack that has helped cause the film to be compared to video games. It also has numerous animated sequences, and the fact that the film largely consists of Lola running around makes it seem like a video game ala Grand Theft Auto. Potente is superb in the lead role as the red haired heroine, and Tykwer's direction about fate is intelligent and extremely frenetic.
A brilliant experimental film that deals with a number of concepts in near-genius fashion. A truly wonderful one-of-a-kind film.
The film is a German production, for those wanting something different from Hollywood-style flicks. I love European films, and I find this film entertaining and thought-provoking.
The story is about Lola (Franka Potente), who has 20 minutes to find 100,000 DM to save her boyfriend's life. The boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) gets into some dodgy business with the local crime boss, and leaves his 100,000 DM on the tube by accident, that is found by a homeless (Joachim Król).
After a telephone conversation between Lola and Manni we can watch three possible outcome of the same story, one after the other. Each version starts with Lola slamming the phone down and starting to race time. Each time there is a huge difference in the outcome, depending on a couple of seconds she either loses or gains in the beginning of her running, when she bumps into a punk with a dog in the staircase.
First time the dog growls at Lola, scaring her and causing her to run faster. Second time the punk trips her, injuring her leg, that will slow her down a bit. Third time Lola leaps over the punk and the dog, gaining a couple of extra seconds.
Director Tom Tykwer tries to focus attention to important questions whether there is faith, or everything depends on luck, coincidences and a few seconds?
The music (by Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil) is also worth mentioning. Few of the tunes e.g. Believe, Wish (Komm Zu Mir) are performed by Franka Potente herself. The film takes place is Berlin, so we get some Berlin-style music to go with the environment where we see a lot of running from Lola...
Run Lola run is a German film from 1998 and stars Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni her boyfriend.
This short film (only 76mins) is basically a short story told three times over. The story starts with Lola receiving a phone call from Manni telling her he needs 100,000 marks in twenty minutes otherwise he will probably be killed. He has been part of a drug deal and finds himself owing a major gangster and is in a race to save his life. Manni asks Lola to help him and the story shows her journey to him and her apparently innocent meetings with random strangers she meets. The three different parts show how one split second change or different action can cause a reaction that will change the future forever. Lola is against the clock and must first ask her bank manager father for help with the money and then meet up with Manni all in twenty minutes.
I was first drawn to this film when I seen that Moritz Bleibtreu was in it. I had seen him in The Baader Meinhof Complex and Female Agents and thought he was very good in both of them. But the performance of the film is from Franka Potente. Although she spends almost half of the film running, her scenes show her great vulnerability but also her independence and appetite to succeed. She shows her commitment to Manni in a number of situations and it really is a powerful performance. The soundtrack is filled mostly with dance music but it keeps the story flowing quickly and suits perfectly. The director infuses small scenes of animation; and flashbacks and split screens and it all adds to the feeling of time running out. Though the film is short it sits very well with the piece and is a pulsating chase-type thriller but it also poses many questions. The thoughts of every action has a different reaction are very close here and the film kept me interested and intrigued all the way through.
I really enjoyed this film. Some people aren't fans of foreign(subtitled) films but it doesn't bother me at all. That I can see is the only down side to it. This is one of the best foreign films I've seen in recent years and I'm surprised it took me so long to watch it!
A short, sharp curiosity of a film, the German offering Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) is an unrelenting assault on the senses that tells the story of twenty minutes - three times. Lola (Franka Potente) receives a call at home from her panicked boyfriend, Manni, an errand-boy for a Berlin gangster; he has mislaid the package he was supposed to be transporting and needs to raise 100,000 Deutschmarks before his boss catches up with him. Fearing for his life, he tells Lola that he plans to rob the supermarket opposite his phonebox. Attempting to advise Manni against this, Lola can only secure herself a twenty-minute delay; when the clock strikes midday, Manni will enter the supermarket - unless his girlfriend can get there with the money first.
With this, Lola starts running, trying to secure the money and reach Manni on the opposite side of town in twenty minutes. This race against the clock is the story Run Lola Run tells, with each of the three "runs" varying greatly in events and consequences; although there are often only seconds between each one. For instance, whereas on her first run she sprints clear of the dog that growls at her on her staircase, in the second instance she trips and falls - a difference that impacts upon the chance encounters that unfolded the first time around.
This structure, showing how minor differences can radically change destinies, isn't wholly original; Groundhog Day and Sliding Doors both explored the concept around the same time as Run Lola Run (released in 1998). The interpretation of the theme isn't quite as clear here as in those films; although it features the same repeating-events idea as the former, Groundhog Day used strictly self-contained "runs" - in Run Lola Run, the three versions of the story seem to overlap a little. When Lola first encounters a gun, she has no idea how to use it - come Run Two, she flips off the safety with confidence, suggesting she has learnt from her first experience. As such, the "rules" of the film are a little blurry, something we're probably not to see as crucial.
Instead, Run Lola Run is much more about the visceral, breathless experience the viewer goes through. In the first run especially, the director Tom Tykwer piles heavily on the senses, throwing together animation, multiple shots on one screen, numerous camera angles and a high-octane techno soundtrack that runs off and on throughout the film. It almost feels as if the director is experimenting with every style and effect available to him at this stage, such is the chaotic, jumbled impression it makes. The effect, though, is a strong, involving one, matching the pace and urgency of the runs - although at first at least, it threatens to overload the senses a bit. However, it stays just about the right side of the line, and calms down a fraction before the viewer develops a German techno migraine.
Packed into only an hour and a quarter, the breathless pace and jumbled, "what-if" narrative - that even manages to fit in flash-forwards of the lives that await those that Lola runs into - barely leaves time for the viewer to consider the performances on show. However, when it all winds down, one will reflect positively on the realisation of all the roles. There's scant time here for much development of character, although the three-lives structure does give us chance to see different sides of the personalities on show. It is Lola, of course, who spends most time on screen, and Franka Potente does plenty with this, showcasing her talents as the eponymous breathless heroine.
Reflecting on Run Lola Run, it's hard to know what the film is trying to say, if anything. There are certainly plenty of interesting ideas and themes being touched upon here, but Tykwer seems content to play with these concepts, throwing them almost casually around without trying to provide answers for them. This isn't a problem; the opening scenes of the film contain a quote that alludes to the pointless, cyclical nature of questions (which simply lead to more questions, and so on), so perhaps we can take this to be the message of the film, insomuch as there is one; what is simply is, and the experience of something is more important than questioning what it is or why it happens. In any case, the film certainly is a hugely enjoyable assault on the senses; it's admirably concise, doing everything it needs to without padding, waffling and pontificating, it's consequently always gripping and is full of carefree style with a faint undercurrent of dark humour. Run Lola Run is an unusual film, certainly - but it's one of the best and most original odd films you're likely to see.
Lola's got 20mins to save her boyfriends life after he phones her on the otherside of town in distress.
Lola's boyfriend (Manni) has lost the money he owes his gangster Boss £50,000 by a mistake, leaving it on a busy subway train and to make matters worse a tramp has now picked up his dosh.
With a mind blowing pace and hardcore techno music in the background it's a truely compelling film to watch and infact it will get your own adrenal glands pumping from your seat.
The casting is spot on and I personally find Lola (Franka Potente) to be very attractive though her hair colour does take some time to adjust to. The directing is extremely fresh, with superb panning shots from the urban German city and it's also well worth taking a note down for director/writer Tom Tykwer as I'm sure he'll be bringing more of his work to the big sreen.
At 77 mins long it's pretty short but is still a very exciting and entralling ride and watch out this film has a seriously excellent twist. Being this is a German film you'll have a choice of watching DVD in subtitles or a dubbed format. I urge everyone reading this review now to watch this flashy foriegn classic. (you will thank me) I just hope hollywood don't remake this film as it would have no buzz in my opinion.
A very clever German film indeed, 100% good fun.
I only came across Run Lola Run because my favourite episode of The Simpsons, Trilogy Of Errors, contained an homage to this film. You may have seen it; it's the one where they show one day from the perspective of each family member. Lisa is late for her school science fair, so she runs down the street to some techno background music. I subsequently learned that that scene is based on Lola Rennt (or Run Lola Run), a German film from 1998, starring Franka Potente.
The film tells the story of red-haired Lola, who has just 20 minutes in which to find 100,000 Deutschmarks. Her boyfriend, Manni (played by Moritz Bleibtreu) needs the money by 12 o'clock or he will be killed by a gangster after a transport mix-up caused him to leave a bag of money on the train. Lola doesn't know what to do; her impulse reaction is to drop the phone, run out of the house and through the streets of Berlin, where she must find the money before Manni takes it into his own hands and robs a supermarket. Along the way, Lola (literally) bumps into a whole range of characters, including a group of nuns, a speeding ambulance and a pane of glass (you can see where that one's heading), a homeless man, and her father, who is having an affair.
Tom Tykwer's film is highly unusual, and rather a landmark piece of film making. For a start, the structure of the film is quite inventive, as it tells the same twenty minutes of story, in near-real time, three times over! Well, I say the "same" twenty minutes; except that each time, Lola makes tiny little decisions differently, which effect the path the story takes. The film is an existential musing on fate, and how small changes can have big consequences. There is also a bizarre, dreamlike opening sequence which makes you think, and the main stories are interspersed with some scenes between Lola and Manni, discussing the nature of love and death. It's certainly an intellectual film.
However, despite its serious ideas, the film stands out mainly for visual, aesthetic and technical reasons. There are so many different techniques used here, including some animated sequences, split screens, slow motion and scenes composed of quickly displayed photos, that the film is sometimes in danger of losing its focus on plot and dialogue, and becoming just eye candy. Fortunately, it avoids this, and these techniques only add to the film. Sometimes it gets a bit pretentious, but it certainly does look fantastic.
The acting from Franka Potente is quite good, although to be honest, for roughly half her screen time she is just running through the streets. Moritz Bleibtreu is a lot more impressive as Manni, who really makes you sympathise with him, even when he's robbing a supermarket at gun point. The rest of the supporting cast doesn't have much time on screen, but Herbert Knaup, playing Lola's father, was also very good.
Another aspect of the film you will remember from this film is the fantastic, pulsating techno soundtrack. The film has great pace anyway due to the nature of the race-against-time storyline, but the music really does lift the running sequences, and makes them iconic. Franka Potente herself sings on some of the tracks! Practically the whole running time has techno music in the background (apart from some well-placed moments of silence), and some may find the music a bit too intrusive and in-your-face. However, I really loved it, and I think it was the heartbeat of the film.
Despite the weighty themes touched upon, the film as a whole is pretty light-hearted and at times seems like some kind of parody, although I don't know what of. It's just so strange to see a film where the main scenes are just a woman running. There are some good moments of comedy in the film, especially at the end with the hilarious final few lines of dialogue. Also, the characters Lola bumps into are given their own short stories about what happens to them next (a different story for each of the three runs), and some of these are quite funny.
I would definitely recommend Run Lola Run to anyone, whether they're a fan of foreign films or not. It definitely does feel like a European film because of its quirkiness, and the fact that they speak German kind of gives it away too. The subtitles are really not a problem, since much of the film has no dialogue anyway, and when there is it is translated quite well (at least I think it is, from my pretty basic German skills), and they doesn't intrude on the screen.
It's one of the strangest films I've ever seen, but don't let that put you off; it's not strange as in off-putting or hard to get into - just strange as in inventive and imaginative. The plot's easy to follow, and it only lasts for about 80 minutes, which is extremely short as films go. Some might say they wanted it to go on for longer, but I think this length is perfect, due to the fast pace of the film. If they'd repeated the twenty minutes for another time, it would have been boring, and if it had been thirty minutes segments instead of twenty, the pace would have suffered. As it is, the 80 minutes just fly by as you sit there enthralled by this brilliant film.
Written and Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Franka Potente Lola
Moritz Bleibtreu Manni
Herbert Knaup Lola's father
Nina Petri Jutta Hansen
Ludger Pistor Herr Meier
Suzanne Von Borsody Frau Jager
Running Time: 80 minutes
Production Year: 1998
Classification: 15 (some language and violence)
My Rating: 5 stars
I have seen this film described as experimental or avant-garde but, although it is not your average Hollywood action or romance flick (though it incorporates a bit of both); it isn`t nine hours in the life of a skyscraper either. In fact, just the opposite. The film is 81 minutes long and has a pace that takes the breath away (considering that the main protagonist spends most of the time actually running, the expression is even more fitting).
But let`s start at the beginning. Manni, a minor criminal and the boyfriend of the title Lola, delivers a bunch of stolen Mercedes to a buyer, receives a bag of gems in return, these get replaced with a carrier bag full of cash (a handsome sum of 100 000 Deutsche Marks). Due to a screw-up with transport, Manni travels by U-Bahn and, in a fit of panic at the sight of a police patrol, leaves the bag on the train. Amazingly, several of the viewer-reviews I have seen referred to a `drug deal gone wrong`. No, there is not an ounce of powder in sight: we are in mid-90`s Berlin and the film is German. Archetypal gangsters and aspiring young criminals deal in stolen cars here (quite a homely touch for your Polish reviewer, really). So far we are only few minutes into the film. Manni is understandably desperate: he is meeting his gangster-boss in 20 minutes time and he fears death if he doesn`t manage to find the money. He phones his girlfriend, Lola, who decides to ask her banker father for help. In order to get to him in time, she runs.
She runs out of the apartment, past her alcoholic mother sipping a morning drink and talking astrology or some other drivel on the phone; she runs downstairs past a sneering guy with a growling bullterrier; across the fountain-adorned yard of the respectable apartment building; out into the streets; across the bridge to the other side of the river. She runs in an even, steady rhythm, to the pounding sound of very suitable German techno (think: Love Parade); with clocks appearing every so often, with Manni sweating in the yellow phone box waiting for Lola; she runs in what is more or less real time; runs through strangely empty streets of Berlin; with only occasional encounters with passers by: a woman walking a baby in a pushchair, a guy on a (stolen) bike, ambulance, workmen carrying a gigantic board of glass, a group of nuns.
Will she get the money from her father? Will she get to Manni`s phone box before he does anything stupid and before his boss appears? Well, I am not telling you that as suspense is one of the main features of the film and I would not like to spoil it for anybody. What follows is thus not a plot spoiler: I am not going to reveal any more plot. But there is a `construction` spoiler coming up, so if you have not seen the film, and would like to view it with a completely fresh eye, please skip to the next three stars.
The film, as I said, is 81 minutes long. How is it then possible that the story is played out in real time and at the same time limited by that 12 o`clock deadline? Well, we see it played out thrice: it starts the same and it follows the same outline (the route and the people Lola encounters) but there are subtle differences in what she does at the beginning becoming less subtle as the story progresses. What we see is how very small differences in decisions and little random events can accumulate and result in massive differences in the final outcomes (thus the butterfly effect). This affects both people Lola meets on her run as well as her own story. So we have a triadic structure, I would say a dialectical one (after all, it`s a German film) with each of the 20 minute chunks presenting a different version of the story and leading to completely different conclusion. There is a thought out symmetry here: indeed the thesis/antithesis/synthesis structure is fairly obviously used in the construction of the film.
So is it a highly formal meditation on the accidental character of our lives and on the essence of fate? Not only that, there is also a clear progression visible. Each of the outcomes is more desirable than the previous one. In fact, I had a strong feeling that Lola learned from game to game. Game? Yes, the analogy to a level of a computer game is quite clear once you realize that possibility. In a way the film`s power has something to do with denying the inevitable, with being given another chance – like another life in a computer game.
The film is directed by Tom Tykwer: stylistically very polished, with several not-so-usual means employed to a good use (as well as for their own sake from time to time, but I didn`t mind). A short animated sequence is used once in the storyline to show Lola`s run downstairs and the encounter with the bullterrier-owner. We see that sequence on her mother`s TV (who ignores it) which moves the use of animation from a pure gimmick to something integrated into the story. Split screen is utilized to a good effect to depict telephone conversations of Lola and Manni. The fates of people Lola meets in the streets of Berlin are shown to us in very fast sequences of stills, looking like amateur photo album snaps, so quick that realizing what is shown verges on the subliminal.
The camerawork (Frank Griebe) , functional though a bit showy contributes well to the movie experience. The soundtrack of the pounding techno works perfectly at creating the atmosphere.
There isn`t many characters in the film and the acting and dialogue is slightly theatrical – a if not to divert from the magic worked by the visual features, pace and music. In fact, the running Lola sometimes seems less a human character than just a graphic motive amongst others.
Franka Potente is gorgeous Lola, passionate and strong if slightly hysterical; Moritz Bleibtreu is Manni, suitably stupid, and childishly macho, rather touching at times but never really important apart from being the raison d`etre for Lola`s run; but let`s face it, depth of character is not the strongest point of the movie and I somehow don`t think it was intended to be.
`Run Lola Run` is a flamboyant and at times a bit pretentious, at others firmly tongue in cheek exercise in the joys of movie-making. It lacks in substance to some extent so people who look for a thick story with rich characterization would do better to look elsewhere. The musings on random chance and fate are mildly interesting but not particularly new, though the idea of repeated chances is somehow viscerally attractive.
But it is fun to watch, never boring, a visual and structural feast, sporting allusions to other works (sometimes it looked to me just like a spoof of American thriller) and later on alluded to (I couldn`t help thinking that nuns in `Amelie` were the nuns from `Lola`). My favourite allusion is less film and more literary - Lola`s scream: a scream that literally shatters glass. This is straight form - let me keep it here as my quiz question for careful readers.
I enjoyed `Run Lola, Run` it immensely when I saw it in the cinema for the first time, and I liked it when I re-watched it at home recently; in fact it had an added value of reminding me of the part of the world closer to where I come from. It has not dated much so far (it was released in 1998). As usual with films strong on visuals, it is much better to see it in the cinema, but it is enjoyable on a smaller screen as well.
If you decide to see it, and if you are capable of reading (you must be if you are reading this review!), please watch it with subtitles. The English dubbing is awful (not particularly awful, just awful as any dubbing is really) and would definitely detract from the enjoyment of the film.
Foreign language films have always been a bit of a no go area for me. There are so many decent films in English, why would I bother watching something where I have to read subtitles? I have a feeling you're probably already nodding your head in agreement. Once in a while however, an exception comes along (to prove the rule? Possibly.) The most obvious recent example is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon - if you haven't seen that then please pay your local video shop a visit as soon as you have finished reading (and rating) this op. Less well known but also worthy of being regarded as an exception is the ingenious Run Lola Run. This German language film takes a thoroughly interesting premise and embarks on a high paced narrative in which it is unlikely that you will pay too much notice to the language issue (if you opt to watch it in the original German rather than using the wonders of DVD to listen in English). The role of language is actually quite secondary in Lola. The story is told in a manner which is extremely visual and, with a straightforward storyline, it would probably be possible to understand most of what is going on even without any soundtrack. The basic premise of the film is that shocking red haired Lola, misses picking up her boyfriend Manni, who has been entrusted with a deal involving smuggled diamonds. As a result he takes the train and manages to leave DM 100,000 behind when he gets off. A phone call to Lola puts her in the position of having to help him otherwise the bosses for whom he was doing the deal will kill him in 20 minutes time but how can this couple find DM 100,000 in 20 minutes? Director Tom Tykwer presents 3 possible scenarios involving Lola running roughly speaking the same route 3 times, encountering the same people or events each time but with slight differences so that there are 3 entirely different outcomes. The story is extremely fast paced, relentless action and is a
ccompanied by an extremely effective, thumping techno soundtrack. It is a story that is simple and easy to identify with - hopefully we all have someone in our lives for whom we would risk anything? Lola is thrown into this position and reacts in the only way she knows how - quick thinkingly she takes desperate measures to try to get her hands on the money and get it to her boyfriend. The Director includes some extremely clever camera work, throws in a couple of interesting tricks such as the use of a cartoon Lola and the interchanging of use of film and video for scenes which Lola and Manni are in and out of respectively to convey the idea that everything that does not involve either of these two characters is merely a backdrop. As a package this film works very well. The backdrop could just as easily be any city in the world; the language could be any language. The storyline is simple and doesn't need to explain the clear motives driving the characters. The soundtrack is superbly crafted and the characters are very believable. The 3 outcome premise (think Sliding Doors as a chase film rather than a romantic comedy) is clever and the repetition of images each time draws the viewer in. The DVD extras are pretty much standard fare. You have the option of watching in German with English subtitles or English dub. There's a Director's commentary, original trailer, profiles of the Director and 2 lead members of the cast and a music video. Nothing mind blowing there I'm afraid! Bottom line is that despite it being a foreign language film you can very easily watch it over and over. At a mere 77 minutes long (if you watch all the titles) its something that can easily be put on in the background and tuned in and out of. It is certainly worth adding to your collection - particularly when you find it as a cheapy or as part of a 3 for 10 pound deal or the like. Recommended!
German punkette, Lola, has exactly twenty minutes to find 100,000 DM and deliver it to her boyfriend who lost a bag of money he was taking to his violent boss. Run Lola Run is a fast paced and clever film there is not a dull moment in the movie. Lola's race to save her lover is repeated three times with minor variations that lead to widely different endings. It shows that the little things we do each day can change our lives. The soundtrack throughout is excellent and director Tom Twyker has taken the central image of a flame-haired girl running and woven a tapestry of chance encounters with odd characters around it. Using a dazzling variety of visual techniques - animation, shooting on film and video - Twyker blurs the line between what is reality, and what might become reality. It's like a sexy version of "Sliding Doors", or perhaps a "Groundhog Day" for the new millennium, it works both on a technical level and as sheer entertainment.
Lola(Franka Potente) and her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) have got involved with some bad people, Manni is trying to prove himself to them by doing a drug deal which ends up with him deliverying DM 100,000. He was supposed to be pickedup by Lola but her moped gets stolen so he takes the subway. However he has to leave the train quickly and leaves the money. He phones Lola and tells her if they don't get the money in 20 minutes he will be killed. He tells her if she isn't there in 20 minutes with some money he will rob a nearby supermarket. Lola decides to go to the bank her father is in charge of to get the money. The film then showsthree different ways the following 20 minutes could happen. I heard about this film when it first came out because it got such rave reviews. I didn't go and see it at the cinema because I didn't really think I would like it and also I was a bit prejudice against subtitled films. A couple of years later I got to see it through my film studies class and was completely blown away by it. Firstly I like the story. It is not a Groundhog Day thing but more of an exploration into the theroy of any thing you do can affect the future by showing the same chucnk of time three times it shows that if Lola does something slightly different then there is a different outcome to the story and also other peoples lives are affected too. The film will makes audience laugh, cry and cheer as we see different endings to the same situations. The film also has a video game element to it. Firstly Lola is like a real life Lara Croft, she runs from here to there with endless amounts of energy. The way the film starts back from the beginning also echoes computer games. I also liked the element that the characters learn a bit from the last segment even though it goes back to the beginning eg Lola learns how to use a gun. What also is very striking about this film is the number of technical and visual tricks the directo
r, Tom Tykwer uses. Firstly there is the little trick of whenever Lola or Manni aren't in a scene it is filmed with a camcorder. This shows their importance in the narrative and also draws our attention to them. Another cool thing done is how other peoples lives are shown, whenever Lola passes one of the people we learn about the camera zooms in on them and we get a series of snap shots showing the path of their life. Tykwer also mixes things like black and white and animation seemlessly. The use of split screen is also very clever and not at all tacky. The music and sound is also worth mentioning. The loud techno pop music drives the film and gives it a lot of energy. Overall I would very much urge people to see this because it was one of the better films of 1998. Don't be put off by the subtitles it is worth it.
It's difficult to create a film that's fast paced, exciting and aesthetically appealing without diluting its dialogue. Run Lola Run, directed and written by Tom Tykwer, is an enchanting balance of pace and narrative, creating a universal parable that leaps over cultural barriers. This is the story of young Lola (Franka Potente) and her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). In the space of 20 minutes, they must come up with 100,000 deutsche marks to pay back a seedy gangster, who will be less than forgiving when he finds out that Manni incompetently lost his cash to an opportunistic vagrant. Lola, confronted with one obstacle after another, rides an emotional roller coaster in her high-speed efforts to help the hapless Manni--attempting to extract the cash first from her double-dealing father (appropriately a bank manager), and then by any means necessary. From this point nothing goes right for either protagonist, but just when you think you've figured out the movie, the director introduces a series of brilliant existential twists that boggle the mind. Tykwer uses rapid camera movements and innovative pauses to explore the theme of cause and effect. Accompanied by a pulse-pounding soundtrack, we follow Lola through every turn and every heartbreak as she and Manni rush forward on a collision course with fate. There were a variety of original and intelligent films released in 1999, but perhaps none were as witty and clever as this little gem--one of the best foreign films of the year. --Jeremy Storey, Amazon.com